OFFSEASON

Wilcox 'not ready, not comfortable' enough to return yet

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Wilcox 'not ready, not comfortable' enough to return yet

BOSTON -- Chris Wilcox has waited long enough.

The Boston Celtics big man underwent season-ending heart surgery in March and watched his teammates fight for a title from courtside seats.

After months of rehab, he re-signed with the Celtics this summer and was poised to make his comeback. However, his return has been delayed due to back spasms.

"I'm not ready, I'm not comfortable right now," he said prior to Tuesday's preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets. "When my strength and my conditioning get where they need to be, then I'm going to get back out there. I don't want to go back out there too early and then sit out again. I want to make sure this time when I come back, I'm ready."

Wilcox's comeback will be a process. He is currently able to exercise on the treadmill, do light lifting, and recently returned to basketball activities. He also receives a bevy of treatments, from stim to heat packs, stretching to massages.

"You name it, I'm getting it," he said.

Wilcox underwent an MRI following the Celtics return from Europe, but cannot undergo any more at this time because his body was exposed to radiation with previous tests for his heart.

While his patience will pay off in the long run, it is challenging for him to continue playing the waiting game. He has not suited up since March 7. Now he joins his teammates on the bench, knowing he will not be able to step on to the court just yet.

"The hardest part right now is just sitting out watching," said Wilcox, continuing, "The main thing is just being around the game, being around the guys is like motivation to just keep me going. It's tough when I'm not around and I don't see it, then I have to see it on TV.

"It's better just to be around the guys because it kind of keeps my mind off of just sitting around and things like that. But it's definitely tough for me. I want to be out there. I think I've been watching long enough."

OFFSEASON

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

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Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

Veteran forward Larry Sanders, who hasn’t played since December of 2014, has taken to Twitter to get feedback on “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?”

So far, it’s his last team, the Milwaukee Bucks leading, with the Celtics edging the Cavaliers for second place.  

Sanders, 27, has been away from basketball after two drug-related suspensions and issues with anxiety and depression led him to accept a buyout from the Bucks.  The 6-11 Sanders was a solid rim protector. He averaged 1.8 blocks a game in his career. Could the Celtics, with an already crowded roster, take a flyer on him as a low-cost option? 
 

OFFSEASON

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

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Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

By Dan Feldman, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Michael Jordan might have never said “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

But that quote has defined him politically.

Whether the perception has been fair or not, he’s clearly trying to change it.

Jordan in ESPN's The Undefeated:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

You can read Jordan’s full statement here.